Feeds

Apple wins patent on charging iThings THROUGH THIN AIR

New system charges devices and peripherals sans cables

Business security measures using SSL

A patent newly granted to Apple points to a future in which Cupertinian kit will charge over the air, without the need for cables.

The company's US Patent 8,796,885 describes a near-field magnetic resonance (NFMR) system that would be able to wirelessly charge multiple nearby devices from a single base station (such as a desktop computer).

According to Apple's filing, the power supply for the devices would be roughly the size of a AAA battery and could easily be stored in peripheral devices or handsets (Apple uses a portable media player as one example).

The main unit would be small enough to fit inside a desktop computer case and could be used to charge more than one device, although the company noted that charging multiple devices at once could reduce the range and power supplied by the source.

Such a system could make it possible for Apple to offer all-in-one computers that only require one cable to be plugged in – namely, a power cable for the main unit itself. None of the other peripherals, such as keyboards and mice, would require cable connections, replaceable batteries, or separate chargers.

Illustration from Apple's wireless charging patent

Apple's scheme sees peripherals powered by small pods that can recharge using magnetic resonance

While it is always good to take patent filings with a grain of salt, as not all become products, this one seems more likely than others to result in a finished product from Cupertino. It was filed in April of 2012, giving Apple plenty of time to develop and test the technology ahead of a potential release.

And in fact, Apple has previously been rumored to be working on wireless power systems. One 2013 report even claimed that Apple's rumored (but as-yet unseen) iWatch wristslab will be charged using magnetic resonance from up to a meter away from the source.

Efficient wireless power systems have long been sought after in the consumer tech industry, and Apple is far from alone in developing the tech. That one-meter range is still a bit of a pipe dream, though. The very latest Qi charging standard from the Wireless Power Consortium has only been successfully demonstrated at distances of up to 45mm. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.